Pirates are a fun, familiar trope that appeals to readers of many ages. I was hopeful that Claire Merchant’s tale about a female buccaneer would have a daring, Anne Bonny kind of edge. Alas, I was met with a drawn-out, sappy version of Pirates of the Caribbean. Certain aspects of the novel were enjoyable, but I wouldn’t recommend this book to my fellow bibliophiles.
The novel starts off with potential. Corey was born to a wealthy family, but ended up being raised by pirates for reasons unknown until the end. She’s no weakling, either; she can do her work just as well as the men can. Her downfall comes when she meets Sebastian. Yes, love can make people do foolish things, like buy overpriced teddy bears and cherry cordials, but I really expected more from the supposedly strong, independent Corey. Her loyalty to her crew was shockingly low when being wooed by a handsome stranger.
Another disappointment was the severe lack of action. Besides the sudden capture of Corey and a brief battle, there was very little in the way of excitement. A mysterious mermaid did add a hint of intrigue, though since she was the only magical aspect in the novel, it felt forced. I did enjoy the many different accents of the characters who appeared on the two pirate ships. They added richness to the dialogue and make it easy to identify the many characters.
Those searching for a satisfying pirate adventure are better off searching for another novel or perhaps watching Johnny Depp’s humorous turns as Jack Sparrow.